Krauth Electric Case Study
Partnership Springs from Trust and Adaptability
At Krauth Electric, the growing need for electric motor repairs and the diverse line of electric motor services offered has made it necessary to modernize their arsenal of motor repair equipment. This is where IRD Balancing has become an invaluable resource to Krauth Electric, helping them improve their capacity, speed and reporting with enhanced tools and a close partnership.
About Krauth Electric
Since 1911, Krauth Electric Company has been servicing Louisville, Ky area electric motors. The company, headed by Richard Nalley, Jr. and Chris Nalley, is continually growing its operations to provide service outside of the Commonwealth and for clients in a variety of industries, including oil and gas, heating and cooling, automotive, chemical processing industries, as well as the military— just to name a few.
With core values centered around responsiveness and innovation, Krauth Electric has benefited from innovative tools that provide them with greater versatility, not only in services, but shop management and reporting. Specifically, the company has been using the 295+ Balancing Instrument during its balancing jobs for the last year; and, in that time, the IRD product has brought an added level of trust and speed to in-house balancing jobs and the reports that go with them.
Adaptability Creates Trust in IRDs Performance
Krauth’s recent switch from a 10,000 lb. Raydine balancing machine (which was manufactured in the 70’s and 80’s) to the IRD B150 Horizontal Balancing Machine has created a trust partnership between the two companies and since then, Krauth has kept a steady roster of IRD products in its arsenal.
The retrofitted Raydine machine had previously been paired with the IRD 295 and was the workhorse for Krauth’s balancing jobs, but the team felt they could improve upon the reliability of their readings. This led to a shift in Krauth’s machinery as the company chose to upgrade to a full IRD soft-bearing balancing system with the B150 and 295+ Balancing Instrument coupled together.
The addition of the 15,000lbs. capable B150 has increased not only their size capacity but paired with the 295+ has increased the quality and efficiency of their balancing operations as a whole.
“Beyond the obvious of increasing our capacity, it [the B150] has sped up our balancing,” Thomas Nalley said. “We have the pneumatic tensioning system on the B150 which makes sure the belt is always tight around the motor or whatever you are trying to balance. With the previous Raydine machine, there was increased wear on the belt and diluted power in the rotation from the belt-flip method the machine employed.”
After the addition of the B150 and the 295+ balancing instrument, Krauth completed their balancing lineup with the 500lbs. capable B5 balancing machine, for smaller balancing jobs. They use the same 295+ instrument but have employed IRD’s switch box so with the turn of a knob their instrument is receiving signals from one machine or the other.
Building a Partnership
For Krauth, it pays to have a shop next door to one of the leading balancing instrument manufacturers in the world. Over the last decade, balancing has become a standard aspect of repair services offered by Krauth. Each rotor that comes into the shop is balanced before it leaves. It’s not uncommon for Krauth’s machinists to see two or more jobs per week that require balancing — in addition to the equipment brought in for balancing only.
You could consider Krauth the first line of defense for IRD and their beta testing relationship has been beneficial for both teams. When they initially got their hands on the 295+ balancing instrument, Krauth tested the interface, balancing capabilities, and reporting of the instrument while subsequently creating efficiencies in their process; it was definitely a win-win.
Evolution of the Shop
While they’ve since upgraded to IRD’s balancing machines, Krauth isn’t the only shop to use retrofitted equipment. Many balancing outfits are using old balancing machines with new balancing instruments because replacements are expensive and their current equipment still works.
Though initially hesitant to replace the pedestals because the modified Raydine machine was for the most part doing its job, the Krauth team eventually decided to go with the more rigid IRD design and it’s created a more streamlined workflow.
“It [the Raydine machine] wasn’t as well coupled and it was a design choice that I didn’t agree with. The IRD machinery is more rigid. It’s newer and significantly more robust,” Nalley said. “They can even move the pedestals without a crane. On the B150 you turn a little wheel and move the pedestals on the track. It’s only a one person job to do everything in a balancing job, including the set up. In the past, it might take two or more to go quickly.”
Modern Reporting Formats
Krauth works with everyone from the oil and gas industry to heating and cooling. Varying customer industries means varying job reports. For Krauth, no two customers are exactly alike with their maintenance needs and the same is true for their reports.
Krauth’s team has learned to harness the networking capabilities of the 295+ to help with document storage and reporting. The team can now generate reports and pass them directly to customers via email without having to print them in advance.
In the past, printouts were generated and passed along but it was an inefficient process and paper files were harder to keep track of. Krauth is using the 295+ to speed up their move to digital documentation. Aside from the obvious efficiencies created by networking capabilities, Krauth’s team uses the database and robust reporting features to create a more professional, high-quality look for their reports and have begun to generate a “library” of reports and maintenance records for their customers.
Working With IRD
One of the biggest factors with switching to a new system is the headache that new product setup often brings. Nalley said the Krauth team has been happy from the get-go and explained that one of the biggest benefits to working with IRD is the simple setup and IRD-provided training on the equipment and its upkeep.
“Whenever we get something new it's not always released yet,” Nalley said. “So they are almost always over here checking in on it, teaching our associates how to use the instrument and machine. With the B150, they brought it over and we did the full set up. It’s something that they provide to all customers, not just us, but the proximity helps.”
IRD techs walk users through how to set-up and break-down both the machine and the instrument. They also go through any troubleshooting that may come up and are always available for a phone call.
To learn more about IRD products, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (502) 366-0916.